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April 26, 2016

MRO EDITION

Filling the Bays

Going Concerns

Small Is Big

COMMERCIAL AVIATION

Moving Carefully

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MRO EDITION

Filling the Bays

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Going Concerns

Small Is Big

Own a small or midsize aerospace and defense company and looking to cash out? The kids don’t want it, but you want to retire? Well, this could be the year for you. If 2015 was the year of big deals—e.g., Berkshire Hathaway buying Precision Castparts Corp. for $37 billion, or Lockheed Martin buying Sikorsky Aircraft for $9 billion—then 2016 could be small.

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COMMERCIAL AVIATION

Moving Carefully

Beijing Taking an increasingly cautious approach to its C919 narrowbody airliner program, Comac has extended its planned duration for flight testing beyond two years, pushing an unannounced target for first delivery into 2019. The schedule could easily slip a little further, since the Chinese state manufacturer is struggling to achieve its stated aim of flying the first C919 in 2016, industry sources say.

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DEFENSE

Building the Future

Washington In a step toward the biggest prize in military rotorcraft, replacing the U.S. Army’s large fleet of Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks, Bell Helicopter has mated the wing and fuselage of its V-280 Valor tiltrotor. Later this year, in a rival step, the Sikorsky/Boeing team will begin final assembly of its SB-1 Defiant coaxial rigid-rotor compound helicopter.

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MRO Edition

Let’s Get Technology Right

We’re now roughly a decade and a half beyond the dot-com boom of the early 2000s and its subsequent (and spectacular) collapse. It makes sense to revisit some of the costly lessons learned as we now accelerate into a new phase of technological innovation in aviation MRO.

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SPACE

Asteroid Encounters

Colorado Springs NASA is primed to provide a U.S.led multinational research team with an intimate near Earth object (NEO) encounter in the hopes of information that a decade ago would have seemed more sci-fi than scientific. Over a seven-year roundtrip to the asteroid Bennu, the Osiris-REx spaceraft is to carry out a lengthy orbital reconnaissance prior to a novel touch-and-go soilsample collection session, all the while carrying out a long-term assessment of the subtle non-gravitational forces that influence the course of thousands of NEOs that could pose an impact threat to Earth—ideally supplying information for a kind of detect-and-deflect primer.

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TECHNOLOGY

Microscale Nav

Washington Tiny inertial sensors based on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are used in everyday devices such as cellphones, game controllers and unmanned quadcopters, but lack the performance required for navigation applications.

APRIL 25-MAY 82016 MAY 9-22 2016